Tourism brings in $1 Billion to the Scenic City - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tourism brings in $1 Billion to the Scenic City

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Tourism across the state is up from last year, hitting record breaking numbers.

100 million people visited the volunteer state and Chattanooga benefited from their mini-vacations.

"When you have places like Chattanooga, it's just going to bring people here and our goal is just to bring more," said Kevin Tripplett, Tourist Development Commissioner.

The tourism industry in Chattanooga has been growing year after year. “Even during the lean times, Chattanooga continues to advertise, promote, and sell and it paid off by bringing people into town," said Bob Doak, President, Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Across the state, Tennessee saw record numbers in tourism, with 100-million people visiting.

Chattanooga benefited from those record numbers with our own record; the city topped out at $1 billion dollars in economic growth, doubling from $525 million in 2002.

Doak says it's because of all the scenic city has to offer. "We believe it's a collection of great attractions; TN Aquarium, Rock City, Ruby Falls, Creative Discovery Museum, the great outdoors, all supported by great restaurants and hotels.”

The hotels are still going up downtown, proving business is good. "When developers spend tens of millions of dollars in your city, there's no greater compliment than that," said Doak.

Chattanooga tourist dollars are already up by nine percent; year to date from last year. "We had some record spring break numbers which many times is a good indicator of what your summer times are going to look like," said Doak.

While you may not realize it, those dollars are helping you every day, by keeping your taxes low and giving you more options for entertainment. "Music is going to play a key role in providing great value and entertainment not only to tourists but us as locals get to enjoy all of these things," said Doak.

They say as the demand continues, more hotels could be in the downtown's future. They're hoping for an even better 2015 and are trying to figure out how to get 110 million people to visit the Volunteer State.
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